Hansberry fires Maree past Demons

Unbeaten Maree return to the Calasanctius Gym, Oranmore, on Saturday (7.45pm ) to host St Mary's Castleisland in a keenly anticipated game.

Maree go into the contest in confident form, having defeated reigning champions Blue Demons to move to joint top of the Basketball Ireland National League division 1 on Sunday.

Ken Hansberry hit 25 points in the UCC Mardyke Arena in Cork to help Maree record a 67-53 win - their third in a row.

The Mardyke tussle was hard-fought, physical and testy, but although Maree led from start to finish, the game was not secure until midway through final period.

Leading 51-42 going into the fourth, Demons showed guile and skill, and the Maree defence had to concentrate without let up and put pressure on the Demons’ offence.

Importantly the strength of the Maree squad allowed Maree to maintain the intensity for the four quarters with Donie Greene, Jasiec Stec and Paul Jacobsen all looking comfortable coming off the bench.

With Hansberry and James Brophy developing as inside players, Maree has two players who can shoot threes, while Californian Matt Hornbuckle and Liam Conroy showed great touches, handling the backcourt pressure and initiating the Maree offence.

On Sunday Colm O'Hagan proved a real handful, while Pádraig Burke, in his season début, showed little sign of rustiness, hitting six successive Maree points from the free throw line in the second half.

Maree: Colm O’Hagan (5 ), Matt Hornbuckle (9 ), Paul Jacobsen, Donie Greene (2 ), Liam Conroy (5 ), Ken Hansberry (25 ), Jasiec Stec, James Brophy (10 ), Pádraig Burke (11 ).

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